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Could 2 Credit Card Payments a Month Raise Your Credit Score?

While technically true, it's not for the reasons you've probably been told.

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You might’ve seen this advice pop up on your TikTok feed: You can raise your credit score by making multiple payments during a billing cycle.

And while we’re all for paying your credit card bills in full and on time every month, does paying more frequently really help? We asked our CNET Money experts to weigh in.

Does making multiple credit card payments in a billing cycle help your credit score?

While making multiple credit card payments during a single billing cycle could be good for your credit score, it isn’t because of the number of payments you’re making. 

Rather, the additional payments can both reduce how much available credit you’re using and ensure you’re making an on-time payment -- the two most important factors for determining your credit score.

“The common misconception is that paying a credit card bill more than once per billing cycle will count as ‘multiple on-time payments,’ but that is not true,” said Daniel Braun, credit card expert and CNET expert review board member. “Only one on-time payment will be recorded for each monthly billing cycle, so making multiple payments might only help credit utilization if that is your goal.”

Your available credit compared to how much debt you have is known as your credit utilization ratio. The less credit you use (meaning, the lower your credit card balance is), the more it can help boost your credit score. The golden number touted by experts is typically less than 30%, but keeping it at 10% or lower is even better.

How to use multiple credit card payments to help your credit score

Making multiple payments to help reduce your balance, and thus your credit utilization, is a good way to improve your credit score, but timing the payments is also important. Here’s how to strategically plan your multiple payments to maximize their impact:

  1. Find out the close date for your credit card’s billing cycle. You can usually find this information by logging into your account and finding where it says “next statement closing” (it’s likely listed in your account info). With most issuers, that’s the date your balance gets reported for scoring purposes, said Mark Reese, credit card expert and CNET expert review board member.
  2. Monitor your daily balance. If you can, make at least a partial payment two or three days before your billing cycle’s close date, then pay off the remaining balance by your due date. “Using this method allows you to engineer a better credit score because it causes a lower balance to get reported, but you still end up paying off the entire amount owed by the due date on your bill,” Reese said.
  3. Reduce your overall utilization. Ultimately, you want to reduce your credit utilization, which you can do by continuing with the two-payment method, reducing your overall spending or requesting a higher credit limit. If you do request a higher credit limit, avoid spending more as this will just raise your utilization rate again.

What affects your credit score?

Credit scores are calculated based on your credit report, which contains information compiled by the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. 

Here’s how FICO breaks down its score:

  • Payment history, 35%: Having a history of on-time payments every month is the biggest contributing factor to your credit score.
  • Amounts owed, 30%: The amount you owe relative to your available credit -- or credit utilization -- is the second most important factor for your credit score. If you carry a high percentage of debt, a creditor may consider you a higher risk.
  • Length of credit history, 15%: This factors in how long you’ve had credit in your name, including closed accounts.
  • New credit, 10%: Applying for multiple new lines of credit in a short time span could lead creditors to see you as a risky borrower needing additional credit to cover expenses. 
  • Credit mix, 10%: A variety of credit (loans, mortgages, revolving credit lines) can indicate to lenders that you can manage many different types of accounts. 

How multiple payments can help more than your credit score

Beyond your credit score, making multiple payments can also help you put a bigger dent in your credit card debt, particularly if you carry a balance from month to month.

“Making multiple payments is a smart way to reduce your interest costs,” said Jason Steele, credit card expert and CNET expert review board member. “If you make payments whenever you have the funds available, you’ll reduce your account’s average daily balance, which will minimize your interest charges.”

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Evan Zimmer has been writing about finance for years. After graduating with a journalism degree from SUNY Oswego, he wrote credit card content for Credit Card Insider (now Money Tips) before moving to ZDNET Finance to cover credit card, banking and blockchain news. He currently works with CNET Money to bring readers the most accurate and up-to-date financial information. Otherwise, you can find him reading, rock climbing, snowboarding and enjoying the outdoors.
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